Life’s a beach in the Seychelles
If you, ahem, shell out on a trip to the lovely 100-island archipelago of the Seychelles, escape the resorts and go island-hopping
The draw for most people is not, however, cow rides, rum, trucks or even coconuts – but the seaside, and at the Kempinski Seychelles hotel (kempinski.com/seychelles) we get to have a proper taste of just some of what the islands have to offer. After an afternoon sea kayaking, snorkelling and swimming I am sold on the Seychelles.
Guided by Pepe, the hotel’s activities manager, we paddle over to a secluded beach from which only the (absolutely massive) summer house of a Saudi prince is visible. He’s not on his holliers this week so we have the beach to ourselves. I play out some Robinson Crusoe fantasies in my head before Pepe brings me back to earth and under water. The snorkelling here is not as good as in the Maldives – the corals are not nearly as spectacular – but it is still a whole lot better than you will find in most other parts of the world. And that kind of sums the place up. It may not be the best holiday destination in the world, but it is a whole lot better than most.
HOW TO GET THERE
Etihad Airways, tel: 01-6569900; etihad.com, flies 10 times a week between Dublin and Abu Dhabi and offers daily connections to the Seychelles. Return fares start at €839 for economy. If you want to push the boat out, business class return tickets start at about €2,700.
WHERE TO STAY
The Sainte Anne Beachcomber (00248-4292000; sainteanne- resort.com) is a 20-minute boat ride from the airport and has spacious villas a coconut’s throw from the beach.
The Constance Lemuria Resort (00248-4281281; lemuriaresort. constancehotels.com) on Praslin is a swish hotel – the presidential suite is bigger than most Irish houses. The grounds are sprawling and golf buggies are often needed to get from the lobby to your room.
Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie (00248-4299999; orangeraie.sc) Digue’s flagship hotel is ultra-modern and, while you will need to cross a road to get to the beach, the rooms are lovely.